True to his promise following the raid on Southend on 10 May, Hauptman Erich Linnarz raided the town again with LZ.38 last night. LZ.38 approached Clacton at around 22.30 and then crossed the Blackwater estuary before approaching Southend. At around 22.50 it began dropping bombs – 47 incendiary and 23 small high explosive. Bombs landed at Leigh, Westcliff and Southend.
Damage was less than in the previous raid on the 10th, though 4 buildings were set on fire, at Dowsett Avenue, Anerley Road, St. Helen’s Road and at All Saints’ Schoolroom, Sutton Road.
Miss May Fairs, aged 35, from Bow, London, was staying at the family’s holiday bungalow in Westbourne Grove, Westcliff. She was returning from meeting her father at the station. Shrapnel from a falling anti-aircraft shell struck May on the head and killed her.
7-year-old Marion “Queenie” Pateman of 3 Broadway Market, Southend, was in bed when an incendiary bomb smashed through the roof and set her bed on fire. The child, suffered severe burns to her head, back and legs before she could be rescued by her 16-year-old sister. She is in a critical condition.
Mrs Florence Smith, who was standing at the door of her house in Westminster Drive, Westcliff, during the raid. It appears she also suffered shrapnel injuries from an anti-aircraft shell, which landed in the road about eight or ten yards away. She is also in a critical condition.
A 1-pounder pom-pom at Southminster and a 3-inch gun positioned at Shoeburyness fired at the departing Zeppelin without success. A company of the 2/8th Battalion, Essex Regiment fired their rifles also without success. Five aircraft from RNAS Eastchurch and Grain took off but failed to intercept.